Ratto: 49ers, Raiders look for off-the-field progress

August 26, 2011, 8:55 pm
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Aug. 26, 2011

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There will be two prime preening opportunities for our local pro football teams this weekend, and neither the 49ers nor Raiders will be able to say it was on-field progress.It will be whether beefed-up security can combine with two opponents that the local fan bases give very thought to create, well, nothing.
Nothing, as in, no fights, no gun shots, no muggings, no brawls, none of the malignant jocularities of a week ago that made San Francisco, Oakland and their franchises national laughing stocks.VIDEO: Candlestick Park violence report
That is, we presume, the real goal of the weekend, as opposed to seeing whether Terrelle Pryor can take the Swords Through The Heads to greater glory, or Colin Kaepernick can move from No. 2 on the 49ers depth chart at quarterback to No. 2 on the 49ers depth chart at quarterback.There will be thousands of people in the two buildings and millions of eyes on their behavior, and this is their first chance to make a first impression since they so badly mangled their last impression.And because the 49ers are playing the Houston Texans, the most faceless formless franchise in the National Football League, and the Raiders are playing the New Orleans Saints, who are better but have little to do with the Raiders, this ought to be easy.Will there be greater more careful security at both La Candeliere and This Space For Rent Coliseum? Yes. Will it be downright oppressive? Maybe. Will there be better behavior than last time? Absolutely, unless someone is planning two massive car heists.And everyone will declare that victory has been won in the battle with hooliganism, because thats how this stuff plays. Thats how it always plays.But it will be something of a sham, because the real test of the new securities will come when the regular season starts, and the opponents will be the Cardinals and Chiefs rather than the Texans and Saints. It will come when the teams think theyve gotten security down and the next big surprise happens. It will come when they have to react to a problem they didnt expect, and one will occur because thats the nature of the beast.And thats when we will know how well these grand new ideas take hold, and just how much safer the stadiums and the events therein actually are. Well know when its Go Time, not Show Time. And this weekend is, well, Show Time.Put another way, this should be an easy weekend for both security teams unless theres a far bigger problem than any of us truly realized about East Bay-West Bay issues that has nothing to do with either of our soon-to-be 6-10 teams.